— Hillary Rodham Clinton
I join Americans in praying for the victims of the attack in Orlando, their families and the first responders who did everything they could to save lives.
This was an act of terror. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are hard at work, and we will learn more in the hours and days ahead. For now, we can say for certain that we need to redouble our efforts to defend our country from threats at home and abroad. That means defeating international terror groups, working with allies and partners to go after them wherever they are, countering their attempts to recruit people here and everywhere, and hardening our defenses at home. It also means refusing to be intimidated and staying true to our values.
This was also an act of hate. The gunman attacked an LGBT nightclub during Pride Month. To the LGBT community: please know that you have millions of allies across our country. I am one of them. We will keep fighting for your right to live freely, openly and without fear. Hate has absolutely no place in America.
Finally, we need to keep guns like the ones used last night out of the hands of terrorists or other violent criminals. This is the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States and it reminds us once more that weapons of war have no place on our streets.
This is a time to stand together and resolve to do everything we can to defend our communities and country.
We need to commit ourselves to keep guns out of the hands of people seeking to harm others as evidenced by a violent criminal history or by a struggle with mental illness. People who are inherently irresponsible cannot handle guns responsibly.
We cannot accept that mass murder and domestic terror are acceptable costs of living in the U.S. Yet every time we allow no constructive action to reign in gun violence in this country we become part of the problem. These deaths are no longer just the responsibility of individual actors, be they angry or crazy. The blood is now on our hands. [Read more…]
Violence strikes Village Shalom: The Helzberg Campus for Jewish Living in Kansas City suburb Leawood, KS.
— by Shira Goodman, executive director of CeaseFirePA
But the targeted locations, a Jewish Community Center and a Jewish Retirement Home; and an attack fueled by racism and anti-semitism, do not mean that only some of us need worry: Two of the victims were not Jewish — just folks who came to participate in an activity at a place open to and serving an entire community.
Already it is clear that at least two major forces were at play in Kansas City: the shooter was filled with hate, and he had access to guns despite a serious criminal history involving hate crimes, firearms and other weapons.
More after the jump.
Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City.
None of us are safe until all of us are safe.
We all have the right to go to school, to the store, or to the movies, free from the threats of violence and danger. We must work together to protect that right and to restore our freedom to live in safety and peace.
Passover and Easter mark transformative moments of hope, renewal and awakening. They tell stories of people building into movements and nations.
As you celebrate with your family, please commit to help rebuild our nation — into a land where we can live, work, play and pray in freedom and safety.
— by Rabbi David Straus and Adam Kessler
The horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary was a tragedy that has been a jarring reminder of the disturbing prevalence of gun violence in our country and culture. Our outrage has stirred us from our complacency and we will not wait for the next atrocity to finally act.
As the nation mourns, we must also look forward and dedicate ourselves to preventing a future massacre. Yet, despite the media attention given to such mass shootings, we must remember that nearly 1200 Pennsylvanians lose their lives, and thousands are injured due to gun violence every year. Nationally, over 31,000 people die from gun violence each year. If the civil rights movement was the moral issue of the ’60s for our community, eradication of gun violence in our society ought to be the moral issue of our time.
More details after the jump.
We ask that you join us and CeaseFirePA at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg on Wednesday, January 23, 12:00 PM for a Day of Action as we take a stand against gun violence. This is the first joint session in Harrisburg since the shooting in Connecticut.
There will be a noon rally and press conference in the East Wing of the Capitol. After the rally and press conference we will visit the offices of our State Representatives and Senators to make our presence felt and our opinions heard.
If you have special ties with either your State Senator or Representative, please contact Robin Schatz, our Director of Government Relations, so that we can let them know that you will be coming by their office on Wednesday afternoon.
CeaseFirePA advocates for sensible laws like more effective background checks for those legally purchasing guns, mandatory reports of lost or stolen legal firearms, national sharing of relevant data, closing loopholes that enable evasion of our laws, and working to remove assault weapons from being sold in Pennsylvania.
Please RSVP to Salena Camara by Wednesday, January 16 with your name, address and phone number, and please indicate if you would like to travel by bus or would prefer to go on your own. Based upon your response we would like to order a bus and travel together for a very minimal fee.